Internalized weight bias … what is it, and why does it matter?
Internalized weight bias happens you apply negative societal or cultural beliefs about body weight to yourself. These beliefs can come from social norms, which are unwritten rules that govern our behavior.
Internalized weight bias is sometimes referred to as “fatphobia.” It doesn’t matter what your actual body size is … some of us do perceive ourselves as too heavy, regardless of the reality of our weight and shape.
Internalized weight bias affects body image and self-esteem and has been identified as a major public health issue. People suffering from IWB find that it contributes to overeating, eating in a nonhealthful way, difficulty maintaining a moderate weight, depression and anxiety, and mortality.
What can you do about this?
As psychologists, we rely on what we know from science and experience: changing the way you think can re-set your mental map and you can develop better self- and body-images. New knowledge and tools will help you become more resistant to social norms that might otherwise contribute to negative behaviors like overeating and anxiety.
We’d love to help you.